Flawed Ideologies, Propaganda and the Social Situatedness of Knowledge

Open access

Abstract

In this paper I focus on the connection between some of Stanley’s claims about propaganda and flawed ideologies, and the idea of the social situatedness or perspective-relativity of knowledge. More precisely, I will try to show how Stanley’s reflections on the nature of propaganda and its relationship with flawed ideologies push us towards the empiricists’ characterisation of the social situatedness of knowledge. Not only do these reflections reveal some important weaknesses of standpoint theories (that is, the claim of epistemic asymmetry between advantaged and negatively advantaged groups, and the necessity of actively achieving a standpoint), but they also support the request for the pluralism, rational critique, cooperation, fair discussion and epistemic integration fostered by social empiricism. This means that the broad idea of the social situatedness of knowledge should be defended and further developed along the lines sketched by social empiricism.

Amoretti, M.C.; and Vassallo, N. 2010. Do feminist standpoint epistemologies of the sciences answer the charge of essentialism? In Architectures of Theoretical and Practical Knowledge: Epistemology, Agency, and Sciences, ed. by M. De Caro and R. Egidi. Roma: Carocci.

Amoretti, M.C.; and Vassallo, N. 2012. On the independence of the social and situated dimension of scientific knowledge from the notion of standpoint. In Gendered Ways of Knowing in Science: Scope and Limitations, ed. by S. Knauss, T. Wobbe and G. Covi. Trento: FBK Press.

Amoretti, M.C.; and Vassallo, N. 2013. A way of saving normative epistemology? Scientific knowledge without standpoint theories. In EPSA11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science, ed. by V. Karakostas and D. Dieks. Dordrecht: Springer.

Anderson, E. 2015. Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. by E.N. Zalta, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-epistemology/ (last access: August 25, 2016).

Antony, L. 1993. Quine as feminist: the radical import of naturalized epistemology. In A Mind of One’s Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity, ed. by L. Antony and C. Witt. Boulder: Westview Press.

Collins, P.H. 1990. Black Feminist Thought. Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. London: Routledge.

Fricker, M. 2007. Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Harding, S. 1986. The Science Question in Feminism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Harding, S. 1991. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking from Women’s Lives. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Harding, S. 1993. Rethinking standpoint epistemology: what is strong objectivity? In Feminist Epistemologies, ed. by L. Alcoff and E. Potter. London: Routledge.

Harding, S. 1998. Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialisms, Feminisms, and Epistemologies: Race, Gender, and Science. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Harding, S. (ed.) 2004. The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader. London: Routledge.

Hartsock, N. 1983. The feminist standpoint: developing the ground for a specifically feminist historical materialism. In Discovering Reality, ed. by S. Harding and M.B. Hintikka. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Intemann, K. 2010. 25 years of feminist empiricism and standpoint theory: where are we now? Hypatia 25(4): 778–96.

Kitcher, P. 1993. The Advancement of Science: Science without Legend, Objectivity without Illusions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Longino, H.E. 1990. Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Longino, H.E. 2001. The Fate of Knowledge. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Nelson, L.H. 1990. Who Knows: From Quine to a Feminist Empiricism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Nelson, L.H. 1993. Epistemological communities. In Feminist Epistemologies, ed. by L. Alcoff and E. Potter. London: Routledge.

Srinivasan, A. 2016. Philosophy and ideology. Theoria 31(3): 371–80.

Stanley, J. 2015. How Propaganda Works. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Disputatio

International Journal of Philosophy

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 41 41 17
PDF Downloads 41 41 12